Today I will relish opening up my new calendars, and placing them on walls, desks and in my purse.

Then I will spend the rest of the year ignoring them.

I have a love-hate relationship with calendars. I adore them in concept; despise them in practice.

The stationery industry has exploded in recent years, producing hundreds of elegant, cute and quirky calendars that appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

I always find many to admire.

Every summer, I buy a school year desk calendar at a small bookstore on the coast. Since I work in a school library, it would be useful to me if I really used it. The truth is that I like the layout of this particular engagement diary, and buy a different color every year.

While shopping last summer at one of the close-out sales at Borders (sob), I found a page-a-day calendar featuring the word game “Bananagrams.” I thought this would be perfect for the library circulation desk.

Our 2011 calendar was a page-a-day of origami patterns. That had been a huge hit, especially among middle-school students who sometimes made off with a page before its day arrived.

Since I am so conflicted about time, I did not like missing days from the calendar. I felt like I might slide off the earth into a black hole at any moment.

I finally had to fix a sticky note to the calendar warning students not to tamper with time. They could reserve origami patterns and pick them up later. That worked. Still, Bananagrams seemed a safer bet for 2012.

Once I got back to school last fall, it became clear that the origami fervor was continuing unabated. I finally gave in and ordered another page-a-day.

Between the origami and the Bananagrams at either end of the circulation desk, 2012 should be an interesting year.

Of course, I will rarely look at the date on either one of them. I will only freak out if a student informs me the page for “today” is missing.

Nor will I pay much attention to the World Wildlife Fund calendar on the bulletin board behind the desk. I receive many calendars from charities that my husband, Paul, and I donate to. Most go to my students.

I do love the photographs of pandas, giraffes and zebras on the WWF calendar, and occasionally mark an appointment on it.

Another favorite is the one produced by the book vendor Baker and Taylor. This one features the Scottish Fold cats, Baker and Taylor, who are the mascots for the company. These flat-eared felines are adorable. I like looking at them.

I also enjoy the calendar created by a friend. Her nature photographs are gorgeous, and made even more special because I know the back story for each one.

At home, I have a garden calendar published by the University of Massachusetts Extension Service. This one includes planting and frost dates, as well as impressive botanical photography.

Paul usually snags the calendar from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Each month, a different employee is depicted with their rescued animal. The stories are heartwarming.

Finally, I have my iCal on my MacBook, iPad and iPhone. Technically speaking, I should never forgot a date, as the iCal syncs among all three devices. There’s only one problem. Well, two. One must enter important dates into the iCal. Then one must check the iCal to see what is happening on any particular day.

I just can’t seem to handle this simple routine. I can buy calendars. I can admire calendars. Use them on a daily basis? Not so much.

Time, in my mind’s eye, is a series of monthly pages arranged in a circle (like a clock face, with today at 3 o’clock and June 1 at 9 o’clock). My vacations are blocked out in sky blue and special days illuminated in red. This lovely year includes no doctor, dental or car-repair appointments, no afternoons of scrubbing floors and toilets, no errands, no reminders to weed the flower beds.

I always want to do more than I have time for, and once I commit myself on paper or computer screen, I guess I feel I’ve lost some of my joie de vivre. It’s silly, I know, and I’ll probably resolve today to use my many calendars as they were intended.

Then I’ll promptly forget all about it tomorrow.

Liz Soares welcomes email at [email protected]

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